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Church on the telly

With only four channels to choose from, I sat down yesterday evening in front of the television and channel hopped to find a new series starting on BBC entitled ‘York Minster’. As it happens, I have a good friend who is part of the team at York Minster and I was pleasantly surprised to find him playing a starring role in last night’s episode.

The programme was undoubtedly well-made in true BBC style and while I’ve not yet had a chance to catch up with said friend to see whether he felt they were accurately portrayed, it was nice to see him and the Archbishop of York in particular given opportunity to gossip the gospel a little as they described Easter (the focus of the first episode).

It was slightly sad to see the BBC continuing to portray Church and churchpeople in a quirky way. There always seems to be an undercurrent recently in programming of “let’s try and film them doing something you wouldn’t expect a stereotypical vicar to do”… as if the only time such things are interesting is when they are doing something weird or wacky or even just ordinary; visiting Tesco or whatever. Maybe that is where most of the BBC2 watching audience is at.

So upsides – really good presentation of gospel in bite sized pieces (which is a step forward from no gospel at all), good portrayal of my mate and the Archbishop. Downsides – some of the other “characters” on display who made me weep for the future of the Church of England and too much jargon left unexplained… “liturgical”, “precentor” etc (not the TV crew’s fault this one but the Dean & Chapter’s fault).

I look forward to watching next week!

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